Joliet hikes ambulance fees, will get $934,000 more a year

City continues policy of not charging Joliet residents for what insurance does not cover

Joliet has hiked its standard ambulance fee to $2,800, an increase expected to bring the city an additional $934,000 a year.

Joliet residents pay nothing out-of-pocket for city ambulance services. But the hike will allow the city to collect more money from Medicaid and private insurers used by residents.

The city in 2022 collected about $11 million from ambulance fees.

The new fee matches the amount Medicaid pays for ambulance service through the Ground Emergency Medical Transport program, Fire Chief Jeff Carey said.

“It’s a federal program that allows us to collect from our Medicaid ambulance patients, which accounts for nearly half of that $11 million,” Carey said.

The city was informed that Medicaid will pay $2,800 per ambulance call, Carey said. As a result, the city will apply the same fee to all ambulance calls for Medicaid and non-Medicaid patients.

The city previously charged three assorted fees of $1,800, 1,900 and $2,000 based on the level of life support provided during ambulance service.

The same $2,800 fee will be applied to all ambulance patients.

Joliet, however, waives any part of an ambulance bill not covered by insurers for city residents and for employees who work in Joliet regardless of where they live if they require ambulance service in the course of their job duties.

Out-of-towners who need an ambulance while in Joliet are required to pay the full fee.

Carey estimated that more than 90% of Joliet Fire Department ambulance calls involve city residents.

“Any non-residential call is usually for a motor vehicle accident,” he said.

The city also charges a mileage fee of $15 a mile for ambulance calls. A $300 fee is charged for city assistance provided to private ambulance services.